First-Time Tony Nominee: Valisia LeKae steals the spotlight as Diana Ross in ‘Motown: The Musical’


Valisia LeKae

Valisia LeKae is making waves in Motown: The Musical this season and has earned herself her very first Tony nomination. Scoring a principle role on Broadway is a dream come true for most performers but LeKae’s role in Motown takes things a step further. Not only does she get to belt her heart out night after night, she gets to do so while playing history’s fiercest power diva and the hero of thousands of aspiring pop stars – Diana Ross.

Motown: The Musical tells the story of Berry Gordy and the creation of the Motown record label. Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and other Detroit-based greats make appearances in the story as Motown’s finest tunes of the 1960s are belted through the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre each night. LeKae’s vocals bring new life to cherished hits like “You’re All I Need To Get By” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

While this is her first Tony nod, Motown is far from LeKae’s Broadway debut. She’s paid her dues as a swing, understudy and ensemble member in The Book of Mormon, The Threepenny Opera, 110 in the Shade and Ragtime.

Her performance as Diana is making waves throughout the theatre community. In addition to the Tony, she’s also been nominated for a Drama League Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award. She is a winner of the Theatre World Award, an exceptional honor given to performers who make notable debut performances on the New York stage. Her future shows nothing but promise as her career continues to reach more and more fantastic heights.


Valisia LeKae and Brandon Victor Dixon in Motown: The Musical

On Tony night, LeKae will be up against some of the biggest female names in show business. Fellow nominees Stephanie J. Block, Carolee Carmello, Patina Miller and Laura Osnes are all stunning leading ladies in their own right. No matter who comes out on top, it is clear that LeKae and her career have been placed in a new category alongside some of the most revered stars on Broadway. While her competitors are all established and well-known, this may actually be good news for LeKae. If there’s one thing the Broadway community loves, it’s celebrating the success of break-out ingénues as they make their very first Tony acceptance speech.

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About Claire H.

Writer, performer, picture-taker, New Yorker. Find me on Twitter at @Claire_Hannum.

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